top of page
  • Writer's pictureCorey Cohen

The Airbnb Lawsuits Roll In

This is Corey Cohen, founder of The Roebling Group, and here's a glimpse into last week's real estate news. Please feel free to book an appointment with me here for a consultation.

Dolce & Gabbana Doubles Down on Madison Ave

The world’s largest luxury brands are scooping up American real estate at a rapid pace.¹ In particular, New York’s Madison Avenue is experiencing a retail revival with brands like Armani, Versace, and Valentino making strategic moves in the vicinity. Dolce & Gabbana has secured a prominent location on Madison Avenue by leasing a 23,000-square-foot retail space at 695 Madison Avenue. The five-story building, situated on the northeast corner of East 62nd Street, offers various floor sizes, including a dramatic interior staircase, skylights, and a 700-square-foot terrace on the third floor.

The property, with over 60 feet of frontage on both Madison Avenue and 62nd Street, was vacated by Hermes last year. The annual rent for the entire building is approximately $12 million. In other luxury retailer news:

  • Van Cleef & Arpels is opening a new Manhattan location on Madison Avenue

  • Chanel recently expanded its Beverly Hills flagship to 30,000 square feet.

Other high-end brands – like Gucci – are aggressively expanding across the U.S., with luxury retailers leasing 650,000 square feet of new space in the past year, compared to 250,000 square feet the previous year, according to JLL. U.S. luxury goods sales are expected to reach $75.68 billion this year. Flush with cash, high-end brands are expanding and enhancing their retail footprint. ¹

KPG Sells Soho Office

KPG Funds has sold its Soho office development, 30-32 Howard Street, to San Francisco-based Spear Street Capital for $48.1 million.¹ This is slightly higher than the $46 million it paid for the two buildings five years ago.

KPG invested additional funds in combining the structures into a single boutique office building named Howard x Crosby. Renovated in 2019, the six-story property spans 30,000 square feet, featuring five office units and one retail unit occupied by Rick Owens.

Spear Street Capital, known for handling "complicated office assets," adds this acquisition to its diverse office portfolio across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the UK. KPG, which positions itself as a boutique office developer in Soho, employs a fix-and-flip strategy. With this strategy, it aims to transform outdated offices into Class A assets. ¹

First NYC-Airbnb Lawsuit Rolls In

Landlords in New York City are taking legal action against Airbnb and tenants using the platform, citing violations of Local Law 18.¹

This law recently came into effect to curb illegal short-term rentals. It mandates hosts to register their listings with the city for legitimacy verification before posting on platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo. Landlords can also now add their buildings to a do-not-register list, preventing tenants from listing on these sites. Here’s the recent legal trouble:

  1. Two Upper West Side building owners have filed lawsuits, claiming Airbnb allowed listings despite being on the do-not-register list.

  2. A judge issued a temporary restraining order against Airbnb and the tenant, seen as a landmark ruling.

The law aims to provide landlords with a means to enforce regulations against illegal rentals, imposing fines of up to $5,000 on violators. Airbnb relies on the city's verification system, while landlords argue litigation is the only real incentive for compliance. This legal action follows Airbnb's unsuccessful lawsuit against the city in June, challenging Local Law 18 as a de facto ban on short-term rentals. ¹

The Headlines

  1. Employers in New York City are preparing for a law aimed at regulating the use of automation AI in hiring decisions. The law mandates that employers utilizing certain software tools for hiring and promotions must conduct annual audits to identify potential race and gender biases.

  2. In September 2023, the U.S. inflation rate held steady at 3.7%. The stability was attributed to a milder decline in energy prices, which fell by 0.5% after a 3.6% drop in August

  3. Comic-Con is one of NYC’s most popular events, with roughly 200,000 attendees. Many attendees invest significantly into their costumes, with costs running into the thousands.

  4. The U.S. HUD Office of Multifamily Housing has announced $212 million in funding to expand affordable housing for individuals with disabilities. The funding aims to provide supportive services for rental housing to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.

Have a question about buying or selling real estate in NYC? Please feel free to contact me at 646.939.7375.


Corey Cohen


The Roebling Group



14 views0 comments


bottom of page